I am a radio specialist / radio analyst / radio consultant with three decades experience working in the radio and music industries in the UK and overseas. My role extends from advice to City investors about their stakes in media companies, to counselling commercial radio companies on strategy, to developing successful formats for commercial stations, to training and mentoring future radio managers.
In the UK, I was responsible for transforming KISS FM from a weekend London pirate station into Europe's first commercial youth radio station. I previously worked at Metro Radio and Capital Radio. I persuaded publisher EMAP to diversify into commercial radio (now Bauer Radio, the UK's second largest commercial radio owner). I initiated and co-ordinated a public campaign to pressurise the UK government to release frequencies for more FM stations in London, which successfully led to the licensing of KISS FM, Melody Radio, Xfm, Heart FM and Virgin FM. In 2008, I advised senior management at Daily Mail & General Trust to sell their stake in GCap Media (which made Global Radio the UK's largest commercial radio owner).
I have contributed to public policy on broadcasting in the UK, having worked for the commercial radio regulator, The Radio Authority/Ofcom. I was called by the Competition Commission to present oral and written evidence on local market concentrations to its most recent investigation into commercial radio. In 2009, my research made a substantial contribution to the government's Digital Britain report on the regulation of 'localness' in local commercial radio. In 2010, I was asked by the BBC Trust to write a report on the BBC's commissioning of independent radio productions.
In East Europe and Russia, I worked for Metromedia International for five years, launching Hungary's first national commercial radio network Radio Juventus; creating one of Russia's most successful commercial radio stations Radio Seven; as well as devising turnaround strategies for stations in Prague, Berlin and Latvia. In Asia, I spent a year working for News Corporation's Star TV in India, developing and implementing the launch strategy for the country's first commercial radio network Radio City; and I worked in Cambodia for the BBC, training staff at state radio and at a women's station to make their first ever live programmes and phone-in shows.
I have written extensively about the radio and music industries for consumer and trade magazines, and I launched my Radio Blog in 2008. My journalistic responsibilities have included News Editor of The Radio Magazine, Radio Editor of rpm, Radio Editor of City Limits, Radio Editor of For The Record, Radio Editor of Jazz Express, Radio Editor of Independent Media, Acting Radio Editor of Broadcast, Acting Radio Editor of Time Out, and News Reporter/Features Writer for Music Week. I also created the UK's longest running monthly black music magazine (Free! launched 1989, renamed Touch, closed 2008).
My radio career started in the early 1970s as a presenter on London pirate stations, playing soul, reggae and African music. In the 1980s, at Metro Radio, I produced and presented the UK's first weekly 'indie music' chart show. At Capital Radio, I worked for the late Charlie Gillett's world music show, creating 'world music information packs' mailed out to hundreds of listeners, and I managed the station's charity projects. I was a founder member of the Community Radio Association and worked as programme manager for Radio Thamesmead, one of the pilot cable community radio stations.
the music industry, I was a member of the ad hoc committee that coined the
term 'world music' and marketed it for the first time in the late 1980s. In
1985, I discovered Yemeni singer Ofra Haza in Israel and then promoted her
music in the UK, resulting in a Top 20 hit single that blazed the trail for
'world music' and also led to producers Coldcut sampling her music in a Top
20 Eric B re-mix. In the 1980s, I worked in record promotion for Rough Trade
Records director Scott Piering and for London's re-issue and world music
specialist Ace Records. In 1999, I was invited to serve as a jury member for
the world music section of the Juno awards, the Canadian equivalent of the
Grammys. I have written music reviews for New Musical Express
and City Limits.
I have written music reviews for New Musical Express and City Limits.